The Logic of Insurgent Electoral Violence
- (pp. 3199-3231)
AbstractCompetitive elections are essential to establishing the political legitimacy of democratizing regimes. We argue that insurgents undermine the state's mandate through electoral violence. We study insurgent violence during elections using newly declassified microdata on the conflict in Afghanistan. Our data track insurgent activity by hour to within meters of attack locations. Our results suggest that insurgents carefully calibrate their production of violence during elections to avoid harming civilians. Leveraging a novel instrumental variables approach, we find that violence depresses voting. Collectively, the results suggest insurgents try to depress turnout while avoiding backlash from harming civilians. Counterfactual exercises provide potentially actionable insights for safeguarding at-risk elections and enhancing electoral legitimacy in emerging democracies.
Citation2018. "The Logic of Insurgent Electoral Violence." American Economic Review, 108 (11): 3199-3231. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20170416
- D72 Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D74 Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
- O17 Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements